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3 Big Tips for Grooming Your Long-haired Dog | Hastings Veterinary Hospital

3 Big Tips for Grooming Your Long-haired Dog

Do you own a long-haired dog? These breeds are absolutely beautiful to look at, and like most dogs they’re a joy to be around. Naturally however, with longer hair comes a longer grooming routine! It can be a real challenge to keep the coats on long-haired breeds looking clean, shiny, and mat-free, particularly if your dog’s nervous or anxious temperament makes them uncooperative while being groomed.

Some of the most notable longhaired dog breeds are:

  • Collies
  • Afghans
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Shih Tzus
  • English Setters

If you have one of these breeds or any other of the beautiful long-haired breeds, you know that it is quite an effort to keep your dog’s coat looking luxuriant and beautiful, and that it’s good to have a routine in place so that the job doesn’t become unpleasant for you or your best friend.

Having a clean, well-groomed coat helps keep your pet healthy and happy. With that in mind, here are the three biggest tips on grooming your long-haired dog that you need to know.

One: daily brushing is the key to a good grooming routine

Brushing your pet’s coat every day is the best way to ensure that his coat is free of tangles, which leads to matting if left unchecked. A matted coat is a nightmare to untangle and it usually takes a professional groomer to deal with it. That’s why daily brushing is so important! This preventative grooming task makes all future grooming easier, so you shouldn’t neglect it.

In addition to keeping your dog’s long coat in good shape, brushing stimulates the skin and the growth of hair, and your dog will enjoy the attention and the feel of the brush against his skin.

The best tool for brushing your long-haired dog is a long-toothed comb. This helps you get through all the fur and to the skin, which will help remove clumps of hair, as well as the loose undercoat hair that lies beneath.

Two: trimming your pet’s hair controls matting

Left untended for too long, it’s easy for a longhaired breed to get matted fur, which will become exponentially worse and harder to deal with over time. That’s why regular trims are so important—it cuts tangled and matted ends before they spread across the coat, keeping them looking, and more importantly feeling, their best. 

A long-haired dog can have problems walking and running if the hair around their footpads and claws is too long. Because this long hair can make your dog lose traction and cause them to slide and lose his footing, make sure it is trimmed at the same time your dog’s nails are clipped.

Trimming is the best way to take care of any matting problems that you have been unable to control with brushing and combing, ideally, before they become bigger issues. Trimming a dog’s long hair is best left to a professional groomer, unless your dog is very laid back and will sit still on command. 

Three: having your dog bathed regularly is an important grooming task

Your dog may not enjoy it, but they need to be bathed regularly to keep smelling sweet, looking their best, and remaining healthy. Here’s what you need to know about bathing a longhaired dog breed:

  • Use warm water and shampoo formulated only for dogs. Start at the top of your dog’s body, and work your way down through his hair by gently massaging the shampoo into it. Using your fingers, gently remove the tangles and any material or debris that has been caught up in the hair.
  • After rinsing the shampoo, massage a cream rinse formulated for dogs only into their hair and rinse again.
  • Wrap a large, fluffy towel around your dog to absorb the excess water. Then, use a hairdryer to blow dry the hair, or let your dog air dry if he or she doesn’t like the noise of the dryer.
  • It’s not easy to bathe a dog, especially a big dog with long hair, and you should feel free to call on a friend to help if you are nervous about it. Otherwise, you can arrange professional grooming for your pooch.

Grooming a long-haired dog isn’t easy, but it’s essential in keeping their coat clean, shiny, and healthy with simple tasks like daily brushing and combing, as well as regular baths and occasional trimming with the help of a friend or a professional if needed.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.

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